Brand marketers: Just sitting on your video performance metrics won’t get you far

As a brand marketer in a digital world, you can capture all the campaign performance data you want. But unless you have the right measurement, optimization, and creative processes, it’s almost worthless.

I say this from experience. At Kellogg, we’re focused on the ROI of our brand-building initiatives, and the best way for us to understand what’s working is to evaluate our results. Historically, however, the information used to do so lived in silos at our agency, and there were few opportunities to access it in real time. This made taking action more difficult than it needed to be.

That was until we put in place processes around our metrics. Here are three things we did to optimize measurement that could help other brands improve their data-driven video marketing efforts.

1239 Inline

1. We made sure we were all measuring the same things

For large, global companies—and even for smaller organizations—it’s impossible to draw meta insights and share best practices if everyone has different ideas of what “good” looks like.

That’s why we recently introduced scorecarding for our videos—a simple but rigorous way of standardizing the media and creative best practices we measure against on each platform.

Each scorecard is developed with our platform partners, who know what the right inputs look like, while taking into account what we know drives ROI for our categories, brands, and business. Our YouTube scorecard, for example, is based on the things that most powerfully affect our YouTube-driven sales, such as how much our creative adheres to the ABCD’s of effective YouTube creative. We score each input with a red, yellow, or green “grade,” making it simple for all to understand.

Scorecards aren’t automated. It takes work to develop them and then update them quarterly. But the payoff has been clear guidelines, healthy internal competition, and increased campaign effectiveness.

2. We broke down our data silos

The campaign performance data you’re collecting might be consistent, readable, and accurate, but unless it’s made available to your entire team, in real time, it will be difficult to act on. Unfortunately, it’s all too common in our industry for this performance data to live in silos among all the different parties working on a campaign, and creative teams often never get access to it at all.

Gone are the days when brands could wait for campaigns to end before acting on results.

To break down those silos, we launched the KUBE, a physical and virtual space where campaign data lives and is evaluated in real time, using interactive dashboards designed by our data science teams. We’ve developed a structured meeting format to discuss the insights gleaned from the KUBE as a team on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis for each brand, bringing together creative, media, and brand stakeholders. This way, everyone gets to see what’s working and make decisions based on those findings in a streamlined but democratic way. Decisions are made in the moment, and each meeting concludes with a defined set of actions and outcomes.

3. We started acting early and often

Gone are the days when brands could wait for campaigns to end before acting on results. To make the most effective use of campaign insights, marketers need to create processes that allow them to act earlier and more often.

One way we’ve done this at Kellogg is by analyzing results as soon as they’re available, often in the first few weeks of each video campaign. We’ve baked this step into our KUBE review process to optimize our video campaigns earlier and more often. For example, we looked at early Google Brand Lift results for a recent campaign and saw that some of the copy wasn’t performing as well as expected. We made some changes and saw a 2.5X improvement in ad recall as a result.

The power of process

While it may be counterintuitive, our best creative outcomes have been achieved by applying the power of process. Process isn’t the most compelling word. Neither is data, and certainly not in the context of video creative, which is generally associated with engagement, captivation, and inspiration.

But as we’ve learned to embrace an approach defined by “freedom within a framework,” we’ve come to find that process around performance data, optimization, and creative iteration makes it possible for video to be all those things and more.

Why YouTube is an essential part of Aussie parents’ lives